Monday 16 June 2014

My Mini Twist Maintenance

Mini twist maintenance? What's this, Simple? Did you take your old set out and put in a new set?

Well, no, not exactly....

Actually, not at all. I've still got my old set in.

When I was little, I always used to get braid extensions for 3 months. Worked out at £10 a month for hair styling costs. A proper bargain, though a gross one when you think about it now - my mum was encouraged not to wash them regularly by the hair stylists to prevent the hair slipping out.
When I later encountered ladies who changed their hair every 6 weeks, it seemed positively wasteful to me. You pay how much? How often??
Same with my friends cutting their hair every month or so. Who had that kind of money? Or time?

A common piece of advice in the natural hair scene online is to not put extensions or braids or any
sort of protective style in your hair for more than 4 weeks.

However, I reckon that:

1) My hair flourished in its 3 month changing routine as a child, because it is fine and it was like the ultimate protective challenge.

2) Whenever I take my hair down from a long term protective style, there's always a lot of tangling. Why not just prolong having to deal with the inevitable for just a while longer?

3) I don't have much time in the coming weeks to work out how I'm going to stretch my hair every week and then possibly use a drier and then style and....nah. Just nah. In the ever true, ever wise words of Sweet Brown:

So when I am not taking hair advice and life wisdom from Internet memes, what am I doing to my hair exactly?

Note - Since the weather has gotten hotter and more humid last week, I've cut the whole moisturisation process down to either co-washing or moisturising once a week. But during the miserable Spring beginning, this is what I was doing:

Once or twice a week:

  • Moisturise hair with the DIY Interim Hair Milk.
  • Moisturise scalp with rose water and aloe vera juice mix. 

At least once every two weeks:

  •  Pre-poo with Vatika Oil for an hour (the time varies, depending mainly on how badly I need a shower).
  •  Shampoo with some of The Wonder Thing's shampoo.
  •  Condition for 3 - 5 minutes (depends on how long I can tolerate doing nothing in the shower for) with one of Ultra Conditioners. I use the Avocado and Shea One if my hair is dry, or between the Coconut or Vanilla Papaya one if my hair needs freshening up.
  •  Rinse Conditioner Out.
  •  Dry my hair with a T-shirt. I find using a T-shirt instead of a towel minimises the amount of fluff and lint that ends up in my hair, thus reducing future tangles and cursing, but that's it. I have too much frizz for frizz to be a major concern. 
  • Moisturise with the DIY Interim Hair Milk
  •  Seal with Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti Breakage Serum.

At night, of course, I sleep on my silk satin pillowcase.
I may have to re-introduce ACV rinses for my scalp.

At least every two weeks
I re-twist. Not a whole section, but I just put my fingers at my roots to see which of the twists have grown out the most.
It looks like a lot, but it's only about half an inch.

Here are my (delightfully large) fingers for comparison.

I slowly unravel it, starting from the ends and ending up at the roots. I sometimes have knots at the end - I either work them carefully or if that fails, I pull *ahem* cut them off.

At the roots, you can clearly see where the new growth has tangled a lot. I simply comb the mass with my fingers, with the goal of separating it back into two equal sections.

And re-twist. 

Easy! I don't always detangle the two sections if I don't feel it's necessary - my aim is to retwist whilst minimising manipulation.

I don't retwist the 'safe' or 'secure' way, because when I do, my twists end up all crinkly like this.

Between everything I'm doing at the moment - work, sports, volunteering, housework (bleurk!) I've found that doing what I used to do is working for me the best. Plus, it's massively protective. The results we will have to wait and see in the middle of July when I will finally have time to deal with my hair on a full grown basis.


  1. I applaud you for maintaining this protective style. I finish work (for the summer) officially in the next couple of days and I'm trying to figure out what to do with my hair. I like the idea of a protective style, but it seems that doing protective styles are better when I have less time, like when school is in session. Ahhh, I don't know what I will end up deciding. But it would be nice to be able to be a bit worry free from my hair because my scalp needs some definite TLC. My scalp issues are real. :-)

    1. I'm definitely taking this out when I have more free time - but at the moment, it's SO convenient and I love it for that! Every morning, a ponytail or bun and no tangling to deal with at the end of the week. Yesss. I find it has reduced my frustration, stress and sadness connected with my hair by 90% (on the flip side, I just always looks like a boy. ALWAYS).
      I find it so hard to balance scalp and hair happiness. I'm convinced my scalp will only be happy if I'm shaven bald....and that's not going to happen. As long as it's not doing anything to make me pay too much attention to it (mainly itching) I ignore it ¬.¬
      The only thing I've seen was a girl who had seborrhoeic dermatitis, got some stuff from the doctor but found using a steamer helped immensely. There's also Christine Patrice who uses henna to help with her psoriasis. Apart from that, I'm no use on the scalp thing :/


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